When I was in the fourth grade, during quiet reading time, a disruptive boy started acting up.
The teacher warned him not to speak loudly again, as he was making too much noise. She said: "If you talk once more after I have repeatedly told you not to, not only will you be punished for 5 minutes after class, the entire class will be punished along with you. Everyone will have to remain in their seats for an extra 5 minutes, quietly."
Of course all eyes were on this young boy, who, of course being a young boy, challenged his teacher and laughed.
And of course, this teacher meant business. We were all punished. Out of the 20 children in our classroom only 1 child had caused an issue, but the result was we were all going to have to pay for it. They were repercussions to his actions.
It was unfair. But then again, so is life.
I remember what I was wearing on September 11, 2001, when I got the phone call from my mother telling me a plane had crashed into the World Trade Centre.
Visions of me enjoying a glass of red wine at Windows of the World flashed in my mind, as I was in NYC just a few months before, enjoying the breathtaking view from the very top of the World Trade Centre. My reaction quickly turned to one of fear and mass confusion.
At work, we turned on the boardroom television set to CNN, just after the second plane crashed into the WTC. More panic ensued for me, as I thought of my extended family in Washington, D.C., and a family member who was in the Middle East on business.
Speechless. Numb. Scared. Sad. Disbelief. "Why? How could this have happened? Who could be so evil?" were asked by us all that day. What occurred on September 11th is not something any of us will get over.
There are so many horrible things in our history books, with 9/11 being one of the recent additions to pages upon pages of events that never should have happened, the biggest, in my opinion, being the Holocaust. Events that will always be etched in our minds as things that never should have happened in a society where good is supposed to trump evil.
Thousands of innocent people lost their that September day. An entire city - a strong, proud, historic city - was... panicked, to say the least. That day, hundreds of parents lost their children. That day, many brave and heroic fire fighters and emergency workers risked their lives to save others, losing their own lives while doing so.
9/11 should never be forgotten. I think that when discussions about whether to build something that is stirring up some controversy near the sacred grounds of WTC, a lot of thought should go into it.
More so, when an issue like this is causing so many people to have such mixed feelings, I believe there is only one place we should go to for the final decision. To the families of the victims of 9/11. They should decide. They should be given the choice.
They didn’t have a choice when their loved ones were so brutally taken away from them. I think at least now, we should show them a little respect. Communicate with them, and consider their opinions first.
I respect all religions, and I am a very open-minded person. There is no perfect religion. I will also say, as a Greek Orthodox, if people of my faith had done something so horrific, I’d feel the very same way about the issue at hand. (Or any other religion, for that matter.) And that is the honest truth. If it were me, I would avoid confrontation at all cost.
In life, sometimes even if one person makes a mistake, there will be repercussions for everyone. Life is unfair to so many people, for so many reasons. And sometimes, decisions have to be made that not everyone will agree with. Regardless of how you feel about the issue at hand, it is important to remember to respect and allow people to have their own opinion.
What are your thoughts?